We invited three Speexxies to share their thoughts on the DEI culture at Speexx; each was asked the same five questions and spoke candidly about their feelings and ideas on this very topical subject. We hope you enjoy the interviews as much as we did.

Table of Contents

1. What is your perspective on diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

I think this question can be answered from several different points of view. I identify as a non-binary, queer person; in a professional setting (or any other context where talking about personal matters is considered unprofessional/informal) I am perceived to be flying under the “man flag” and therefore the least discriminated against. From a queer point of view, I think a diverse and inclusive workplace is one where everyone (regardless of their sexual identity) feels comfortable expressing and talking about the different spheres of their being. If the world doesn’t know who you are, it doesn’t know your struggles.

2. How does Speexx promote a DEI culture?

I’d say Speexx is a great spark of change. The road ahead is long and full of mysteries to be solved. Queer people must get used to having a place in the world! And that of course means that the further a queer person advances in their career, the more obstacles they face and the more space they need to talk about them. I think Speexx’s strong point lies exactly there: communication. Despite its online nature, Speexx makes you a great communicator.

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3. What core values does Speexx build its services upon?

For me, Speexx is a multicultural, diverse, and merit-based workplace. I think that says a lot.

4. What do you think are the challenges that companies face today regarding equality and diversity?

Resistance. System and customer resistance. In general, when there is change in a system, there is resistance of all kinds. It’s also hard to stay true to such a delicate prophecy in a world still clinging to its old structures.

5. What resources, training programs, or coaching approaches would you like to see implemented to educate employees on these topics?

We are a school of languages. I think we should propose and insist on a safe space for our queer community to present itself as it wishes. It would also be important to celebrate and commemorate events such as Pride (as we are doing) and Trans Visibility Day (March 31). As for training programs, I believe that education is the key to a safe and egalitarian future. Any course, workshop, conference, promotion, … on gender studies and queer history is a must in every community or workplace.

Since I started at Speexx I have worked from Bologna, Sicily, Tehran, and now Tuscany - this is dope! At the moment, I live in the countryside just outside Florence where I co-manage an artistic residence, curating art and organizing events. I am a super active person: I enjoy practicing sports, yoga, and I do floor-work dance workshops. What’s great about my job is that I can manage my time myself, which has led to accomplishing many different things, while having a serious career at Speexx.

Mersad Razavi - Business English Teacher at Speexx